She taught me to smile when the old man would not.
those winks, shared witticisms,
her silly smile
always upside down,
got me to flash teeth like the old man --
blues hued deeper by tears of joy
because she could cheer
a lonely, friendless boy.
Said no to his glove and ball,
soared in game the old man never understood;
my shoulders widened, shadowed
the stooping man.
as a perfected visage in chiseled
Roman features formed --
fleet of foot,
stronger than my decaying
Though, she could not spare
the isolated torture of belittling words
resonating a lifetime in psyche,
wink, nudge and we'd guffaw.
Dismayed, a tired old man looked on.
When breath left her lungs,
her son eulogized a requiem.
guarded in hidden wing, realized
on the cusp of a new prodigy,
nothing like the first.
Hand on mama's belly,
I would be lifted highest in dreams
a vibrant woman, robustly
jabbed, winked, smiled proudly
that unbendable, worldly frown.